straight_jacket_250x251As athletes and racers, there are a number of things we do that, to those not in the ‘club’, may be seen as absurd, unimaginable or just plain stupid.  To some of you readers, a 50mile endurance trail run may seem inane or bring a spark to your mind and an extra beat to your pulse.  A 24-hour mountain bike racer could been seen as an amazing athlete or  someone who should be in a straight jacket.  To those looking in from the outside, spending the money we do to race or the time we take from our lives seems like a waste.  To those inside, it is a beautiful way to another thrill.

My two “fits of insanity” for this week:

1. Run the 3M half marathon with no training at all.

2. Take the dreaded ice bath.

I ran the 3M and am happy with how it all came out.  I went in to the race fully aware and knowing there would be pain involved.  I hadn’t done a run over 50minutes since my half-ironman back in October and have been focusing on weight training and a little bit of mountain biking since then.   I wanted to do it just to do it.  I held on to my friend’s pace for the first 5 miles.  They have been good little runners and have been training for a specific goal time.  I had a goal time for if I had trained and didn’t hit it however I wasn’t that far off.  I honestly do think that if I didn’t take off so fast by trying to hang with my friends, I probably could have done it, but that is not what this race was about for me.  I really enjoyed pushing a hard pace for the first part and getting some quality hang-out time with my friends.  I count it all as a blessing and a great experience.  That’s what races should be, right- an experience.  If you go out there and don’t learn something about yourself and your situation, what’s the point?

Now if you are a racer who has plunged (or slowly, slowly crept) in to a bathtub full of cold water you know that there is a good reason to do this.  I dread it so much but know for my body it is neccessary.  I took it almost as a pennance since I didnt train for the race on Sunday.  Luckily I have wonderful friends who also have the same post-race enjoyment.  Caveman had his ice bath after a very bone-shaking mountain bike race on Saturday so I knew if I wimped out, I’d have no sympathy from him (that’s the price you pay when your insanity doesnt top your boyfriend’s).  Mel, one of my running/tri/everything else I can talk her in to- buddies was down for the same fate as I was.  I grabbed my phone and called to see how her race went.  She was getting her bath ready as well.  Awesome enough, the hot cup of tea and the conversation with a friend made the bath bearable.  We both needed something to help distract our minds from the cold- also misery loves company type of thing.

Her email to me this morning puts things pretty nicely I believe-

I’m glad we have the kind of relationship where we can sit in an ice bath and talk to each other. Is it weird that I didn’t think that was weird? I think we have a skewed version of normal…

Yeah- we may be skewed but thanks for being that way!

furlyicebath1

My cat trying to figure out what an ice bath is all about.

Mr. Furley still not understanding why someone would put their already cold body in a very cold bath.

Mr. Furley still not understanding why someone would put their already cold body in a very cold bath.

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